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Welcome back to the Eurovision Diary!

My name is Ola Melzig, and I’m the Technical Director for the show, responsible for lighting, sound, staging, rigging, automation, LED, projection and pyro, so I’ll have my hands full, for sure.

Bookmark this page to get your daily updates - they will appear in order of the most recent news first, going backwards. If you've missed any days, there is a menu on the right. We'll stick to the format from previous years, where we post the daily news from what happened the day before, because we work late and don't want you to miss anything from the previous night!

So this is for you, dear readers. WELCOME to our daily lives.    Yours truly, Ola Melzig, Technical Director

May 15

Hola amantes de la música

I am SO sorry for running late with the updates, it's just very hectic right now. I actually don't have time to go to Euroclub at the moment. It's horrible! :-)

 

Today, I thought we should dig deeper into the thing that everything origins from! The stage! Without a stage design, it's impossible to do a lighting design or a camera plan, so this is where everything must start.

These are our set designer's own words, describing the idea behind their design:

Since the very beginning, Eurovision Song Contest has been a joy filled event for the whole of Europe, engaging the live audience and TV viewers, bringing us closer, erasing borders, and even political conflicts, uniting us, for the intense moments it last.

It is that intimacy and positive energy, that has been the true inspiration in our design work, creating the set design for this show.

Our goal has been to recreate and amplify this, by bringing the audience and artists physically closer to each other than ever before. Not only in the venue, but to all the living rooms all over the world, where family’s and friends has gathered to watch the event, and join the party.

And while having all the energy from the audience swirling towards the center of the stage, we will take the show, and the live experience to the next level.

The ambition is that the intensity of the presence will electrify the broadcast and transmit this feeling to all of our viewers, wherever they might be.

We have worked very hard with creating a three dimensional universe, with depth and multiple layers to create an interesting landscape, ideal for a televised show.

A traditional solid set projects the focus to where it should be, on the artist, and allow visual effects in an efficient and spectacular way. This also works as a reference point in order to no loose the depth perception of the set.

This, in combination with state of the art video projection, lighting and pyrotechnical effects, will give us the full spectrum of the poetic, industrial, sensual, in your face intensive, fairytale, sexy, sparkling, hardcore, sophisticated and dramatic brushes that we need in our palette, to give each and every song that unique look and feeling it deserves.

We have also been inspired of motions while designing the shape of the stage. Butterflies of course, but also energy, air and music. We have tried to capture these fragments of moments in motion, and transformed them into shapes.

And if you focus real hard while looking at our stage, you will see the trace and emotions of the flight of a butterfly.

Thank you Viktor Brattström, and Frida Arvidsson, for the kick ass job you've done!

corner

Another one that has done a kick ass job is our stage and automation supplier Tait Technologies. We are all extremely impressed with the quality and finish of their product, but also how well prepared they are for load in. They came here with almost 20 trucks of gear, and every single piece is coded and labeled and there is an amazing attention to detail. For example, all stage decks are equipped with magnetic connections, for faster line up and build.

 

 screen-cali2

One of our first and highest priorities, besides coming up with the shape of the stage, was to decide what would be the dominant layer of the set. The producers gave us a pixel ban at day one, which was a relief in many ways. In our search of doing something different, we ended up with a 45 m x 8 m ground supported upstage projection wall. All wall pieces are glued piece by piece to fit into its exact positions and to match each other perfectly. The middle parts of the huge screen have 2 flown sections on variable speed chain motors so the designers can open and close the wall. They cannot only change the lining of a horizon, this also reveals a layer of SGM strobes and Aleda K5  shining through the gaps. The most challenging part of build up was to coordinate  the work between all the departments that needed access to this area at the same time. Well besides building something that has never been built before, and try to schedule it...........

 

 

archpieces

Pieces to build the stage arcs layed out on the floor during load in.

 

archassembly

Another very important part of the set are the two 14 m tall and 7 ton heavy scenic arches. They are the fully custom built for this show. This is the reference point of depth perception that is needed to compose fantastic TV!

 

kinetic

Viktor and Frida wanted to take their set all the way out to the back of the arena. After all, our show motto is WE ARE ONE! We accomplished that with 62 Tait custom RGB Led scenic elements. 14 of them are closing completing the circle shape created by the archs and expressively influence the stage look on many of our acts. The rest of the 5 – channel DMX units (3 ch of RGB, 2 ch for speed and position) are located above the audience. They are all operated from one of the FOH lighting desks via artnet to Tait`s Navigator control system for lights and a custom Micro Winches (low voltage, dual line, for power and data) and controlled with W- DMX. Each sculpture is individually controllable, and just imagine, what it means for a lighting designer's brain!

 

bridge

We are still not at the end of our staging parade. Let's go and see the main secret of the opening ceremony and interval acts: It is a 36 m long and 11 ton heavy  BRIDGE, hanging on 22 motors with variable speed over the audience. Up to 25 adult people can cross the bridge at the time. We have flag bearers in the Flag parade for the final and also 40 children in the opening of Semi Final 1 What to say more? It docks to the concrete riser in the venue in one end and to the B –Stage which has, for this purpose, and for some songs, a triple scissor lift raising up to meet the bridge.

On my first day at work for this project, Christer Björkman said ¨Ola, I need a bridge¨ Well....... here it is Christer!

 

understage

At the end of our small staging tour it's worth mentioning that the whole stage is surfaced by high-gloss black Formica which gives it an ultra sleek look. We looked into different ways of doing a LED floor, but canned it, simply because it did not add anything. Sometimes old is the new, and how can you beat the classic look a glossy stage floor gives you? As you can see, the whole construction is on wheels. The stage was build in the far end of the arena, while we were rigging lights and audio in the stage area, and then rolled into position. Slick!

flaggapult

The Flaggapults, or clown launchers if you like. This catapult lift can shoot you 8 meters up in the air, if you are in burnt mode, and most probably kill you, so we are in a crispy brown mode, which means that it shoots up the dancers approx 2,4 meters over stage. We have four of these babies.

 

hydraulics

Finally, we have 4 pantograph stairs in the stage, controlled with hydraulics, like everything else in this stage!

 

Thanks again Viktor and Frida, for your design, and THANK YOU Tait, for making their visions reality!

 

YOU ARE ALL ROCK STARS!

 

 

Ola Melzig

  • Europe  +46 704 104 343
  • US +1 719 466 1785
  • ola {at} m-m-pr.com</